HARVARD-YENCHING INSTITUTE MONOGRAPH SERIES
Cover: The Korean Singer of Tales, from Harvard University PressCover: The Korean Singer of Tales in PAPERBACK

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 37

The Korean Singer of Tales

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$22.50 • £18.95 • €20.50

ISBN 9780674012745

Publication Date: 10/30/2003

Short

P’ansori, the traditional oral narrative of Korea, is sung by a highly trained soloist to the accompaniment of complex drumming. The singer both narrates the story and dramatizes all the characters, male and female. Performances require as long as six hours and make extraordinary vocal demands. In the first book-length treatment in English of this remarkable art form, Marshall Pihl traces the history of p’ansori from its roots in shamanism and folktales through its nineteenth-century heyday under highly acclaimed masters and discusses its evolution in the twentieth century. After examining the place of p’ansori in popular entertainment and its textual tradition, he analyzes the nature of texts in the repertoire and explains the vocal and rhythmic techniques required to perform them.

Pihl’s superb translation of the alternately touching and comic “Song of Shim Ch’ong”—the first annotated English translation of a full p’ansori performance text—illustrates the emotional range, narrative variety, and technical complexity of p’ansori literature. The Korean Singer of Tales will interest not only Korean specialists, but also students of comparative literature, folklore, anthropology, and music.

From Our Blog

Photo of Karma Ben-Johanan working from home

Virtual Conferences, Working from Home, and Flying Kids

Like many conferences this year, the annual American Academy of Religion­/­Society of Biblical Literature conference will be virtual. HUP’s Editorial Director, Sharmila Sen, who normally attends the conference, decided to check in with some of the people she would have otherwise seen there in person.